Having finally decided on a doctor just days before, Ryan and I set off at about 5am Tuesday morning to the hospital.
With all the excitement, anxiety and discomfort, I'd only had about an hour of restless sleep. In the morning Ryan dropped me off at the hospital and headed to work. (boo for work) At the hospital I found out I was still only 3cm dilated, so they broke my water and started an IV. Soon they had added Oxytocin to make things progress faster.
I was lucky to have a few friends come and keep me company through the day. Ryan came back early from work, Eunji came and brought snacks (which I wasn't allowed to eat! >.<) and Jason came to make me laugh... on which I promptly instructed him ~ jokes were OK at the end of a contraction to make me forget the pain, but at the beginning just made me want to smack him! haha... He was really there to see if I was going to swear at Ryan (and I did, just once... but not the "YOU DID THIS TO ME" that Jason expected ~ it was during a contraction when Ryan calmly looked at me and said, "Just breathe..." to which I exclaimed, "What the heck do you think I'm doing?!?!" **heck may not have been the actual word).
I had many ideas of what childbirth would be like, and many of them were completely realistic! I knew there would be pain, fear, exhaustion and confusion as well as a plethora of other emotions and struggles. Still, I imagined trying to get as far as I could without drugs, using other methods like walking, stretching, using a birthing ball, etc. What I didn't anticipate was after having my water broken everything was a messy struggle (sorry for that image). I walked to the bathroom often just to get up and be able to sqat... but this was so far from the Korean norm that they soon gave me heck for being up so much ~ another thing I hadn't expected, for the Korean standard to be that women just lay there and take the pain (well, with the epidural) until it happened.
Eventually the pain became too much to bear and I asked for the epidural. I wasn't pleased with myself, but it'd been more than 7 hours in active labour. I was confused because in the morning the doctor told me that things looked good and the baby should be here in the early afternoon. I'd even called Ryan to cancel his last classes and come back to the hospital... but now, there was no baby just a lot of pain.
By 3pm I was dilated, the contractions were on top of each other, the epidural wasn't working for me and the baby hadn't descended. At this point the doctor was blunt, he said we could wait for several hours to see what happened and even then he was skeptical that the baby would fit, or we could try a C-section.
A Ceaserian was never part of the plan! In fact, that was why we'd agreed to induce early, to ensure that the baby would fit without injury to either of us. However, after a few more contractions and back labour we said OK to the C-section. I'd love to say from there things were easier, but they were not. I'll write my next post about my C-section experience... but for now, know that I got to experience more than a few complications... >.<
Finally, at 4:32pm our baby was born! Ryan made it in just in time to cut the cord and be ushered out of the OR. It was quite a while later that I was out, and then I was in recovery and the baby I'd yet to see was in the nursery where he was being treated for some breathing struggles (nothing serious).
Finally at about 10:30pm they were moving me up to my room and as we passed the nursery a nurse brought our baby to the window for me to see (his temp. was irregular, so they didn't want to take him out). At that point, exhausted and a wreck from the day I looked up and saw the little, beautiful and absolutely stubborn trouble-maker and it was love... I also knew he'd be a "William."
And that was little Liam's first day.